How to Successfully Apply for Funding
In some ways, you will find that applying for funding is a similar process to applying for a place in a course, or even applying for a job. In fact, in some cases, application for academic placement and for funding may overlap.
Application process may require following items:
- Academic transcript
- Academic references
- A statement of purpose
- A medical examination
- A bank statement from bank manager or guarantor
Statement of purpose is as according to Petersons whom is the publishers of postgraduate guide for the United States, it is reffering to your opportunity to give a glimpse into your character, background and writing ability, so you can make sure this is the best you can possibly do. There is usually a lot of competition for funding. You should excel academically and be able to display appropriate motivation and a sense of direction and you should also be a good fit for the programme concerned. Funding bodies expect the bet possible results overall, throughout your academic course.
Timing is right
You will need to apply early for postgraduate funding. If anything, it will help you avoid dissapointments. It's easy to procrasinate and wait until the last minute to send in your application, only to find out the postal delays caused your application to reach its distination way past the deadline.
Another aspect to take into consideration is the right time you will require to source for the right type of funding. Realistically, this process takes weeks or sometimes even months.
In a nutshell, be aware of application deadlines, and be mindful of the time you will need to shortlist the funding you want to apply for.
Improving your chances
Read forms and directions carefully, making sure to answer specific questions by giving the information required. Accuracy, clarity and attention to detail are critical, also avoid careless errors and leaving blank answers.
Make a balanced case of support while displaying evidence of your passion and track record. Many universities appreciate evidence of all-round partcipation in extra-curricular activities, such as college societies, sports, cultural aciivities or volunteering, as well as strong academic profile.
Make sure all requested information is enclosed and always meet the deadline.
Sourcing for funds
If you already know that you have limited financial means for your postgraduate studies, then you should begin sourcing for funds as early as possible. Seek out multiple funding avenues from different organisations, both government and non-government, and send in your application to all of them to increase your chances of securing financial aids. After all, it is best not to put all your eggs in one basket.
Also, do attempt to apply for funding bodies that are related to your course of study. General scholarships usually have a higher number of applicants as it covers a broader range of fields, while subject specific funds are limited to those who study or work in that particular sector. For example, the National Science Fund (NSF) is only eligible for science stdents while the Japan Foundation's Graduate Program on Japanese Language and Culture is only offered to teachers of the Japanese Language.